Posted on Fri, Apr. 08, 2005
Man who preyed on probationers sentenced to prison
By KEVIN HOFFMANN The Kansas City Star
A former Johnson County probation officer was sentenced Thursday to more
than two years in prison for abuse of powers that stemmed from sexual
misconduct with his clients.
Jackson County Circuit Judge Edith L. Messina ordered Randall Nester, 37,
to serve 30 months in a Missouri prison for what she described as taking
advantage of incredibly vulnerable victims. The crimes involved four women
and occurred in Nester's office in Kansas City and at the victims' homes in
Kansas City and Independence.
Nester had faced a maximum of four years in prison after he pleaded guilty
in January to four counts of sexual misconduct and one count of acceding to
corruption by a public servant. Only the corruption charge was a felony.
In addition to the 30-month term, Messina sentenced Nester to one year in
the Jackson County Jail on each of the sexual misconduct charges. The
sentences were to be served concurrently.
Messina told Nester that his job carried the public's trust. Instead of
protecting that trust, he held the threat of jail time over his clients if
they didn't comply with his wishes.
If that's not an abuse of authority, I don't know what is, she said. I
don't know what message you were sending to those women, but their lives
are no less important than anyone else's.
Nester apologized and said his actions put his clients and himself into
harmful situations. He said he realized he had broken that trust with the
public and brought grief to his victims and his family.
Defense attorneys John E. Harvell and J.R. Hobbs argued that Nester was not
at risk to re-offend and asked the judge to place Nester on probation.
Two victims told the judge that Nester had taken away their trust of men.
They said he deserved to go to jail.
Nester was charged in January 2003, after one woman came forward and said
he had touched her inappropriately. Authorities found other women who
reported that they had been groped and that Nester had made sexual advances
toward them dating back to 2001.
Nester worked for the Johnson County Department of Corrections from 1997 to
2002, when he was fired.
Johnson County authorities released one of his victims from jail after they
learned that her probation had been revoked on Nester's recommendation.
To reach Kevin Hoffmann, call
(816) 234-4415 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paul Wright, Editor
Prison Legal News
972 Putney Rd. PMB 251
Brattleboro, VT 05301